Thursday, July 29, 2010

Effigy Pipe

This pipe I carved during the winter of 2002. It's based upon an early pipe depicted in the book, Pleasing the Spirits, by Douglas C. Ewing, 1982. It is thought the original was made by the Eastern Chippewa around the year 1800. The original, like mine is 12.5" long.
I made this pipe from a piece of curly maple. The 3 bands of metal are cast leaded pewter and were more than a little tricky to perfectly fill the circumference. I think casting is as much luck as it is skill. I used a stiff cardboard to dam the lead for the pour. The best advice I can offer to those wishing to try their hand at this is to remember to poke holes in the dam in order to vent the hot gasses or else you'll end up with voids.
As I write, my friend Jan Zender is creating an appropriate pipe stem for this pipe. I will certainly post images of the pipe and stem when finished.


  1. I saw this while visiting Tom C. last year. Very nice. Always better seeing, feeling, holding something but a pic is like reading the back of a book and gives ya a pretty good idea.

  2. Dear E,
    I couldn't agree with you more. Even seeing something behind the museum glass leaves me wanting more. It's this in part that has inspired me make for my own.
    Thank you! My best, Steven